All the Major International High-Visibility Safety Apparel Standards You Need to Know

High-visibility apparel (hi-vis) is safety clothing like vests, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, coveralls, etc. that workers can wear to improve how well others see them in a work environment.

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High-visibility safety apparel (hi-vis) is safety clothing like vests, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, coveralls, etc. that workers can wear to improve their visibility in any work environment.

The need to be seen is recognized as a critical issue for high-visibility safety apparel. Low visibility is a serious safety issue for workers who require to carry out jobs near vehicles or equipment. Workers must be visible and conspicuous to car operators in all lighting conditions and against complex backgrounds. The more time a driver sees a pedestrian safety worker, the better they are able to avoid a collision. High-visibility safety apparel and equipment greatly boost pedestrian safety.

ENISO 20471: The European Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel

EN ISO 20471 is an international standard that imposes requirements on high-visibility safety apparel for employees in high-risk areas. Using the right high-visibility safety apparel is important and must be prioritized. It focuses on specifications for design, background material, photometric performance, test method, and mark.

According to EN ISO 201471, high-visibility safety apparel is classified into three different classes, which each indicates the protection level of the reflective clothing for different situations.

ISO 20471 provides specific information related to risk factors and choosing clothing: Key design requirements of ISO 20471

Key design requirements of ISO 20471:

  • Bands of retroreflective material shall be at least 50mm wide.
  • The bottom of the lowest band shall be at least 50mm above the bottom edge.
  • If more than one horizontal band is applied, the horizontal bands shall be at least 50mm apart.
  • If a sleeve obscures part of a reflective band on the torso of a garment, a band must be added to the sleeves. For high-visibility safety apparel with short sleeves, if the sleeve obscures a torso band of retro-reflective tape, the standard now dictates that there must also be a band of retro-reflective tape about the sleeves.
  • Three colors of fluorescent material are approved in the standard; yellow, orange and red. In addition to the surface area of each material, there are also requirements for the performance of these materials, as well as the degree of reflection from the reflective strips. Physical properties including tensile strength, thermal resistance, and dimensional stability are also covered within the standard to ensure that all high-visibility safety apparel is suitable for a range of working conditions where there is a high risk.

ANSI/ISEA 107-2015: American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel And Accessories

The standards for high-visibility safety apparel by the American National Standards Institute and the International Safety Equipment Association (ANSI and ISEA) refer to the construction of the garment, formally known as ANSI/ISEA 107-2015.

This standard specifies performance requirements for high-visibility safety apparel and accessory PPE. Performance requirements are included for color, retroreflection, and minimum areas of retroreflective and combined-performance materials, as well as the high-visibility safety apparel design and address labeling and use instruction requirements.

Test methods are provided in the standard to ensure that a minimum level of visibility is maintained when high-visibility safety apparel is subjected to ongoing care procedures.

The standard breaks out three types of high-visibility safety apparel with 5 performance classes. Each class within the type is indicative of how much of the high-visibility safety apparel has to be high-visibility material.

Minimum Areas of Visible Materials:

Minimum area of visible materials of optional high-visibility accessories:

For more American standard information go to

Meeting the specific high-visibility safety apparel standards is very important, we will check and figure out whether the product you are going to order could meet the required standard or not. That will reduce the risk of buying the wrong high-visibility safety apparel. LINO safety is not only a supplier but also your trusted advisor.

For more information about the standards of high-visibility safety apparel, please kindly contact LINO safety today at [email protected].

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